Kitten Sucking on Fur of Sibling

donna_loomisOctober 16, 2006

About a month ago we found a litter of three kittens in our backyard. Mom was nowhere in sight and never showed up in the 2 days we kept an eye out for her. Couldn't let the babies starve so we put food out and hoped she'd come back. She didn't, so we adopted them all and brought them into our home to stay. From the start they ate both moist and dry food readily, so I assumed they were at least 8 weeks old. I didn't notice any strange behavior until a couple of days ago. I have noticed George, a male, take a mouthful of fur at Abby's neck and noisily suck on it. I've noticed that he has done this always at night, about three times. Does this mean that Mom left them too soon? Is it most likely that this behavior will continue? It doesn't bother me, and it doesn't seem to bother Abby. Just curious what it means.

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My male cat also did this to my female cat when they were kittens. At first I thought it was cute but then he got a little aggressive about it so I had to keep on top of him. He would actually suck on her stomach, as if trying to feed from her. I think I remember the vet being concerned about it because he was so insistent, so we policed him for awhile. And yes, I think it could be a sign of too-early weaning, as he was abadoned in the wild by his momma as well.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 9:53AM
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The two kittens I fostered did this all the time. When they were in my carriage house on a soft blanket they would lay beside each other and suck away. I know they were too young to leave mom but i didn't want them to become feral like the two she had a few months earlier. Now the brothers are separated. Buster is at Petsmart w/ three other kittens in a large cage. Henry is on my lap every night and when my older cat jumped on my lap too, henry started kneading her which she tolerated. Other than that, they both have terrific little personalities and I feel good about taking them and putting them in good homes.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 2:20AM
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I have two 6 month-old cats (sisters) that were spayed at 4 months old and that we got at 8 weeks ...... we thought. We were the third family in two weeks to get them. It's a long story ......

Anyway, the larger one and the more dominant one nurses herself on one specific teet every single time she is on my bed or on the couch with me. This was evident as soon as we got the kittens. I am positive that they were weaned way too early.

It gets annoying because she is so loud that it interferes with watching television or sleeping.

I have tried using stuff that tastes terrible but that didn't help. I have put her out of my bedroom but that doesn't solve the problem.

Some folks have said she will outgrow it and others have said their older cats still do it.

I would like it to stop and am open to any suggestions. Her twin sister doesn't do this.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 3:43AM
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I can't be certain because it was five years ago, but I believe my vet was concerned when my male cat did this to the female because the sucking in her mammary area could cause the production of certain hormones. So jrdown, I would confirm that with your vet and make sure to seperate your cats when the one does this. A water spray bottle could be effective also.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 6:49AM
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paigect ~

I did figure that nursing could stimulate lactation since it can happen even in women who aren't pregnant.

The cat in question (Lola) doesn't nurse on her sister (Lucy) she nurses on her own teet.

I have tried spraying on the stuff that tastes terrible and it only deterred her for a few minutes. I have tried spraying water but she just runs away and goes somewhere else to nurse. I think I would look like a crazy woman if I ran after her all the time with a spray bottle in my hand. LOL!!!

I did bring it up to our vet when the girls had their spay surgery and he thought she would outgrow it. In my estimation it is when she comes onto the couch or my bed to relax that it begins. I can always tell when it is going to start because she begins by purring very loudly and then the nursing kicks in.

Actually, it appears very funny and she will stop after about 15 minutes ...... yes, I have timed this action! Mostly, it bothers me because I am trying to sleep and she wakes me up with her slurping noise.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 12:01PM
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Years ago...I had a pair of Seal Points...Suki & Sunai...Suki would suck on the tip of his tail for hours...LOL

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 12:10PM
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I had an 18 pound male neutered black cat that would "nurse" on my dog when he was kidding...kneading and all!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 1:05PM
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I guess it was about 7 or 8 years ago when a stray cat showed up at our house. Even knowing I was deathly allergic to cats I took her in. My old aussie, Mike would let the kitten suck on his fur and they would finally go to sleep together. We did find a home for the kitten, but I wonder if the kitty missed her "blankie." Old Mike was a sweet little mom. So, as incredible as it sounds I think animals help each other out in the insecurity area. Webkat5, I thought I was the only one who had a dog who "nursed" a cat until I read yours. LOL

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 8:22PM
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3 of my 7 cats also "nurse" on the dog, preferring his neck. He'll lift his head, turning this way and that, but eventually give up, and with one hugh sigh, he'll lay down and let them go at it. The cats weren't taken away from their mother too young, so that's not always the reason. With so many cats doing this, I think it's just a show of contentment and comfort.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 10:36PM
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